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Age: 59
Years of Service: 7
Marital Status: Widow
Children: 3 (adults)

“Don’t let the death of your spouse or partner be the first time you have to make important financial decisions.”

Sophia's Photo

Sophia's Story

When Sophia’s husband died last fall, she had to make financial decisions alone for the first time in 31 years. She always intended to ask her husband more about their finances – bills, health and life insurance, savings and retirement accounts – but she thought there would be time.

Even after Sophia decided to get a job and started working in state government seven years ago, she trusted her husband to continue being the primary financial planner. After all, he was a good budgeter. Sophia was busy working and taking care of the family.

Her youngest son recently moved back home after graduating from college. His sisters live out of state and have their own families. It’s been great to have her son around to help review financial statements, organize paperwork and take care of the yard.

In fact it was her son who found her Wisconsin Retirement System employee benefits information in the file cabinet. She reviewed her WRS annual Statement of Benefits and realized that she needed to update her beneficiary. After talking with a Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Program representative, Sophia also learned that she could consolidate her husband’s IRA and 401(K) accounts, which were now in her name, into one account in the WDC Program.